Charlton 3-0 Portsmouth
Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 9:47PM BST, Sunday, 02 April 2017
The Charlton women’s team got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Portsmouth Ladies at Privett Park on Sunday.
First half strikes from Rosey Sullivan and Kim Dixson, both assisted by Avilla Bergin, sent the women’s team on their way before Kit Graham put the result beyond doubt late on.
The victory, after two matches without one, moves the Addicks back into second place in the FA Women’s Premier League South, with just three matches remaining.
First team coach Riteesh Mishra made two changes from the side that drew with Coventry United last weekend, with striker Gemma Shepherd returning to the starting line up for her 100th appearance in red and white. Midfielder Nicole Pepper, meanwhile, made her first start for the club since her move from Watford last month.
There were few early chances for either side in the contest, with the hosts’ Alex Lusan shooting wide from 20 yards and Graham screwing a long-range effort well over.
The breakthrough came after 21 minutes when Bergin attempted to cut in from the right and saw her cross blocked behind for a corner. The Northern Ireland international whipped the resulting set piece into the heart of the box where centre back Sullivan met the ball unmarked and powered home a header.
The Addicks had to wait just four minutes to double their advantage as Bergin went on a mazy run that saw her breeze past about three defenders on the right before pulling back for skipper Dixson to tuck the ball home from 10 yards out.
Charlton weren’t done and pushed to extend their lead, with Portsmouth keeper Emily Paines saving well from a Graham thunderbolt before Shepherd headed another dangerous Bergin centre against the crossbar. Shepherd was then unlucky to see her curling effort fly just wide of the far post.
In between those chances, Samantha Quayle almost pulled one back for the home side when Charlton defender Grace Coombs slipped and allowed the former Yeovil striker a one-on-one chance, but she could only slide the ball narrowly wide of the upright.
Charlton should have had a penalty early in the second half when a Pompey defender tipped the ball around the post with her hand, but the ref instead gave a corner, which again saw Shepherd head against the woodwork.
Paines then continued to frustrate the visitors, saving from Graham, substitute Daisy Monaghan, Shepherd twice and Bergin.
With 10 minutes left on the clock the game was sealed when Dixson showed good strength to hold off her defender and feed Graham, who turned her marker, advanced on goal and lashed home from close range, this time giving Paines no chance.
Rebekah Tonks could have nicked a consolation goal for Portsmouth, looping a header wide, but in the end it was an easy fourth victory of the season for Charlton over the south coast side and sets the Addicks up perfectly for their first of three cup finals against Tottenham Hotspur, which takes place at Cheshunt FC on Wednesday (1930 kick off).
Charlton: Baker, Flack, Dixson, Sullivan, Coombs, Shepherd (Nash 67), Bergin, Pepper, Graham, Bottom (Monaghan 46), Southgate (Lee 62). Sub (not used): Jackson.